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Sea Hawk Sports Center
Sea Hawk Sports Center
Fresh Fingers!! Come and get’em!!
Sea Hawk Sports Center
Sea Hawk Sports Center
Ask any old salt, a running tide is typically more productive than a slack or changing tide. As the ESVA cools down, much like the change of tide, warm humid weather is ushered out and cool crisp autumn air floods in. Fishing techniques and targeted species change as well. However, with warm days and cool nights, we on the lower shore are immersed in a figurative slack tide and are anxiously waiting for the flood of cooler fall weather to get us back on a good drift. (If you get my drift)

The fairly breezy conditions have slowed the flounder bite by introducing turbid water that decimates the ability for these sight feeding doormats to partake in our dinner plans. Lucky the seaside spec bite has continued to improve as anglers cast popping corks with real or artificial shrimp as well as paddle tails on 1/8 - 1/4 ounce jigheads around the shallow grass beds and oyster rocks behind the VA barrier islands. Along with the specs there has also been a few opportunities for puppies that have been seen tailing about. These spot tails have not been as numerous but when located eagerly inhale gold spinner baits with a paddle tail trailer. Don’t forget to take you castnet along. Nothing compliments a fantastic fillet of trout better than a handful of fresh caught succulent shrimp snatched up from the same waters…. Gosh we live in an awesome place!!

The middle Chesapeake has started to produce some striped and spotted shallow sportfishing. Rock, reds and specs suck up and assortment of soft and hardbaits as well as chunks of crab and cut spot or mullet soaked in the shallows of the Tangier and Pocomoke sounds. If you are in the need for fast fun action that will put some stretch in your line and a bend in your rod that cast some x-raps around structure like the target ships. Aggressive blues will soon provide you with airborne acrobatic fights that bring a smile to whoever is cranking on the other side.

The lower bay has produced some pretty strong structure activity. The reef sites and the CBBT have yielded some nice sheepshead along with reds and a few blacks. Most fish have taking chunks of crab fished on sweeper jigs and t&b rigs. There has still been a few Cobia available for catch and release so keep an eye out for the man in the brown suit, it could put the icing on the cake to an already fun trip.

The surf has been the scene for more than suds and sand. Along with spot and kingfish a few puppies and blues are starting to show up in the wash. Mullet chunks on fireball rigs and modified fishfinders have been the bait of choice. As the days get shorter and the water cools down the action will just get hotter.

While I am finishing up my weekly report and hopefully Sammy is getting the boat ready for a quick afternoon casting trip. I realize how lucky we are and how sometimes we take our way of life for granted. It would be awfully hard to imagine a day without this wounderful place we call home!
Sea Hawk Sports Center
Sea Hawk Sports Center
For many years I have heard the saying “ wind out of the east, fishing is the least”. This past week has provided plenty of physical evidence to support this theory which has been derived from folklore instead of science. Either way, lulls in action such as this, help us appreciate the awesome fishing opportunities that we typically take for granted.

In the beginning of the week, the seaside of the ESVA gave anglers opportunities to target flounder in and around the inlets. Flounder rigs adorn with pink, chartreuse, white and even orange teasers along with gulp grubs or swimming mullet seem to coerce these flavorful fillets into the frying pan. A nice big silverside or bull minnow to tip the hook seals the deal. We have had a few anglers jigging large gulp grubs in the snaggy structure of the Wachapreague inlet. One ounce jigs tipped with pink shine and orange 5 inch gulp grubs have pulled some really respectable doormats from the obstacle laden oasis during slack tide.

While the sportsman of the Eastern Shore took to the shallows and creeks, thanks to the onset of the first marsh henning tide of the fall, some reds were spotted tailing through the seaside grass. There were even a few bulls mixed in to really get your drag screaming. Both artificial and fresh shrimp fished under a popping cork or bounced along the bottom on a jig head have produced some sporty spot tailed action. Along with the pursuit of puppies there has been a few fall specs showing up in their normal haunts. It’s to early to report a hot lure or color but I can promise you that an opening night Bass Assassin will be tied on my favorite casting rod as soon as the wind dies and the waters clear.

The Chesapeake has dealt with some of the same tide and wind problems this week. The good news is that the water temperature has fallen into the mid 70’s and we are primed for some awesome autumn fishing. There has been a few specs caught this past week as anglers sought sheltered water on the east side of the Pocomoke Sound. Most fish fell victim to bottom fishing with chunks of crab but a few of these spectacular speckled prizes have been lured by paddle tails fished among the grassy areas that provide refuge for predator and prey a like.

The best reports of the week came from the lower Chesapeake around the pilings of the CBBT. There was a mixed bag of sheepshead, reds, blacks and cobia coming to the gunwale just before the wind turned. While cobia were spotted and targeted with jigs and live baits the bottom fishing was dominated by chunks of crab fished on sweeper jigs right on the pilings.

Last Saturday,marked the 32nd annual Onancock Bay Challenge. 110 anglers braved the elements in pursuit of Chesapeake treasure. At the end of the day there was an abundance of fish, food, and fellowship with a hint of fine music as well. The fact is, it doesn’t matter about the weather, the fishing or anything else…. It’s the people that make it so awesome to live in this wonderful place we call home!
Sea Hawk Sports Center
Sea Hawk Sports Center
If you have ever fished the ESVA, or anywhere for that matter, you know the change of a tide can bring a whole new spread of opportunities to all of us in pursuit of battles from beneath. With fall impending, we are experiencing a change of season that will offer new chances to enjoy fishing much like a seasonal tide. Days shrinking and warm water cooling will help mix up the hook ups on our beautiful eastern shore.

The Chesapeake continues to bless us with world class trophy red drum fishing from Cape Charles north to the Maryland line. Bait fishing with cut spot has been the most productive method for targeting fish in 15-30 feet of water around structure. The structure can be man made like the many reef sites in the lower Chesapeake as well as natural shoals and sloughs that provide baitfish a refuge from tide and current. There have been a few puppies showing up on seaside and bayside alike. Most of these bronze bullet shaped brawlers have been in and around shallow grass beds and oyster rocks.

The offshore scene has been dominated by a great mahi bite. Most of the action has taken place inshore of the 20 fathom line. Any kind of floating flotsam has held schools of small to medium dolphin that are a delight to wrestle with on light tackle as well as with a fork on your dinner plate. While in search of mahi laden reefs floating in the Atlantic, trolling small skirted ballyhoo as well as wahoo walkers and diving plugs have accounted for a fair number of bites from fat alberts, wahoo, kings and a stray tuna. If all else fails there are always seabass, triggers and spade opportunities on the wrecks just off the ESVA coast. Spanish mackerel have been pretty plentiful off the coast of Chincoteague. Anglers have been trolling clarkspoons behind planers to tempt these torpedos full of teeth into the cooler

Sheepshead continue to provide action as they struggle in the structure of the Tangier Sound and lower Chesapeake . Fish have been lured by chunks of crab fished right in the middle of the ragged reef that they had taken up residence in. Some of these trophies with funny look’n teeth have topped the scales at 10 plus pounds, so get ready for a fight and hold on!

The seaside continues to support a pretty good flounder bite. However, a few specs have shown up in the shallows. Sammy and I went out to test the warm waters of the Chincoteague bay with paddle tails. We quickly picked up a couple of spotted beauties before darkness pushed us back to the dock. While we were slowly moving along the banks of the salt marshes, my son Sammy who has an fondness for toothy tussles with sharks, put out a line with cut bait on a wired up circle hook. With in seconds Sammy’s rod was bent and my hopes of catching a pile of nice seaside specs vanished faster than a full moon tide. But that’s the awesome thing about the Eastern Shore, things may not go as planned, but you will always have a blast in this wonderful place we call home!


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